72ºF

Business owners devastated after massive warehouse fire in southwest Houston

HOUSTON – Firefighters battled a large warehouse fire Tuesday afternoon, according to the Houston Fire Department.

Heavy smoke and fire poured from two warehouses in the 9900 block of Harwin and Gessner. Both warehouses suffered water damage.

"I couldn’t even see, my eyes, I almost passed out in there," said Cedric Landers who works across the street.

When Landers saw smoke billowing out of the warehouse across the street, he ran over to help.

"I know a lot of these people over here, I came in and trid to help them move their stuff off their shelves, and we got overcome by smoke, we had to get out of these, but there is a lot of damage,” Landers said.

Firefighters arrived on the scene a little after 11:30 a.m. Dozens of fire trucks lining Harwin were visible from SKY2.

"There is a lot of merchandise in these warehouses, t-shirts, perfumes, flags, a lot of stuff that burns," said JD Deangelis, who works in the aera.

Business owners cried as they watched their businesses and merchandise go up in flames.

Firefighters said warehouse fires can spread quickly and that — coupled with strong winds — caused the fire to spread.

"They are like construction (and have) a lot of open area, a lot of places for fire to travel. Once you get wind added to that factor, you are going to get a lot of movement in there, and really cause a problem for firefighters. On top of that, you never know what is in a warehouse. It could be chemicals, combustibles, plastics, we just don’t know," said Capt. Ruy Lozano of the Houston Fire Department.

There are no reports of any injuries.

Firefighters requested a third-alarm shortly before 1 p.m. to increase crews on scene to around 140 firefighters and 45 units.

The fire was declared under control around 2:30 p.m.

The HFD Arson Bureau will be investigating the cause of this fire.